Although brace pain is temporary, it’s nothing to scoff at. For those of you experiencing it for the first time, the sensation can not only be disturbing but downright unbearable. We at Iqaluit Dental Clinic suggest that you go through with it because, in the end, you will end up with better oral health. Furthermore, painful braces are easily treatable, and you will soon get used to the discomfort.
There are several ways to treat brace-induced pain. From home remedies to modern medicine, there is a solution for everyone. Here are a few tips to help you ease into the uncomfortable experience.
1. Ice – Ice has been the go-to home remedy to treat inflammation. Any time you sprain your wrist or hit your head; the application of ice can even save you a visit to the doctor.
Inflammation within your mouth elevates the pain levels even further. The simplest treatment is to apply ice. The cold sensation reduces any inflammation, quickly relieving you of any pain. Assuming you’re not sensitive to the cold, you can even take a small chunk and eat it for quicker relief.
2. Heat Pads – If you’re sensitive to cold, then using ice is pretty much not an option. Alternatively, you can apply heat, which is also quite effective in treating painful braces. You can use a heating pad, a hot water bag, or a washcloth if you have neither.
A heating pad is the best solution since you can apply it endlessly. It doesn’t have to be refilled like a hot water bag or reheated like a washcloth.
3. Salt baths – The metal and the wires can dig into the skin, causing irritation, before finally cutting into the inner portions of your mouth. Not only do you have to deal with brace pain, but now the inners of your mouth feel like a lacerated mess.
The most effective way to treat the sensation is with a warm saltwater bath. Heat some water and add some salt to it when you pour it out into a mug. You can try boiling it, but it’s going to be too hot for your mouth and you are wasting gas. Instead, simply heat the water for 5-15 seconds. Any more and the water is going to be too hot for your mouth anyway.
Take a mouthful of water and twirl it around for 50-60 seconds before spitting it out. Repeat a couple of times until you run out. You can save yourself a lot of pain and suffering by taking a saltwater bath 3-4 times a day. Do it for a month and you might stop feeling any pain at all.
4. Soft foods – Crunchy foods are not the best choice when you have braces on your teeth. Not only is it difficult and painful to chew hard food, but you risk getting food stuck in hard-to-reach places, which can inadvertently cause tooth decay.
Tightened braces make your mouth more sensitive, especially toward pain, and the resulting inflammation will give you a serious headache if you let hard food rub against it. Moreover, the lacerations you read about earlier due to the metals and wires will not appreciate the extra dose of agony you are throwing at them.
Stick to soft foods like smoothies, cereal, soup, and mashed potatoes until you are accustomed to the pain or until the treatment is over.
5. Gum massage – If done correctly, a gum massage can be an excellent pain reliever. Use your finger to rub the gums in a circular motion. The repeated movement soothes the bruised skin, granting you instant relief. Be careful not to apply too much pressure, or you may end up hurting yourself.
For best results, massage the gums with a block of ice. The coldness combined with the repeated movement will subdue any lingering pain within your swollen gums.
6. Hot beverages – Hot beverages have a similar effect as the heating pads, but with the added benefit of unclogging your brain, letting you hit two birds with one stone.
In the worst-case scenario, painful braces can even induce headaches. If you are drinking tea or coffee, make sure to move the hot liquid around in your mouth. Swallow it once the heat has dissipated.
7. Orthodontic wax – Dentists usually prescribe orthodontic wax, and some even send the wax home with you. The wax shields the inner linings of your mouth (gums, cheeks, and lips) from the probing ends of the braces.
The wax does not contain any toxic substances, so you do not have to live in fear of accidentally swallowing some. But you do have to remove it before brushing your teeth.
There are instructions on how you should apply it. But, for the most part, you simply pour a decent portion of the wax over the bracket that’s poking your mouth.
8. Anaesthesia – There are several anaesthetics available in the pharmacy that can desensitise your gums for a few hours. Once applied, any pain and irritation caused by the braces will instantly disappear. It’s a quick and potent remedy that most dentists recommend following the installation of a new brace.
9. Painkillers – Painkillers are the most effective, but taking too much can be harmful. Consult your physician/dentist regarding the dosage and how often you should take it if pain arises.
10. Dental hygiene – All the remedies in the world will not do you any good unless you take proper care of your teeth. Keep the braces and your teeth as clean as possible to ward off tooth decay. Floss daily and use mouthwash to clean the hard-to-reach parts of the braces.
There is an adjustment period, and patience is the key when it comes to dealing with painful braces. We at the Iqaluit Dental Clinic suggest that you try the natural remedies first before taking painkillers. Once the initial pain subsides, the braces won’t feel as annoying as when you first got them. It’s only a small trial, and there is a beautiful smile waiting for you at the finish line.